Seven seasons of deadly scheming and power plays for the throne all boils down to this: a standoff between three of Westeros’ surviving Great Houses, and a massive battle against an army of undead.
Our main characters have gone through quite the journey and have definitely grown more powerful than they were in Season 1. But will it be enough to get them through the great battles to come?
From the very first season, the creators of Game of Thrones have made it very clear: anyone can be killed.
With most of the Great Houses of Westeros having lost most, if not all, their main members, it’s highly likely a lot of them won’t make it alive past this winter.
Which House do you think will be left standing?
Remaining Starks: 3
The Starks have been through a lot of tough times, but they have come out stronger for it. Over the seasons, we’ve seen Sansa get passed from one abuser to another, before she turned the tables around them. Arya’s also picked up some deadly skills of her own, greatly upping her chances of survival. With Sansa’s honed sense for politics, and Arya’s survival skills, they may just end up lasting this winter.
Bran Stark – now the Three-Eyed Raven – despite his incredible foresight (and past-sight, and warging), is still a cripple, which kind of makes surviving in wartime quite challenging. Add to that the growing rumors that he might be who the Night King is after, makes it all the more unlikely that he'll survive Season 8.
The Starks’ best chance of surviving lies in the Stark sisters’ unity. Hopefully, that’ll be enough.
Remaining Targaryens: 2 (including Jon Snow, even though he knows nothing…)
A lot has been said and shown about the incredible power that the Targaryens have. Even when Daenerys had gotten rid of her brother back in season 1, it quickly became clear that she may just end up on the Iron Throne, especially with dragons on her side.
That is until Season 7, when the Night King near effortlessly killed one her dragons, and turned it into a wight. This brought a sobering blow to Daenerys’ chances of survival, not to mention her chances of claiming the Iron Throne.
With the big reveal of Jon Snow’s real lineage, however, it appears that Daenerys is in fact not the last living Targaryen. With the two’s teamwork in battle, they could stand a chance to get through the war. Maybe. Hopefully.
Remaining Lannisters: 3 (possibly with one more in the making…)
The Lannisters began at the top of the food chain – also more or less in the same side – and they’ve struggled to maintain that throughout the series.
Their turns at the shorter end of the stick had simultaneously made them tougher yet weaker. Though their resolves may be strong – especially for Jaime, who finally walked out on Cersei – they’re not quite as adept at fighting.
Jaime’s certainly not as skilled as he was when he fought with his right hand. Tyrion has always done better behind the scenes than out on the battlefield, and so has Cersei. If the fight against the Night King reaches them, it’s highly possible they won’t survive a war.
The only hope left for the survival of House Lannister lies in Cersei’s womb – if she really isn’t lying about her pregnancy to curry favour with Tyrion. Then again, with how well (and truly dead) her children ended up, chances are low that a new Lannister will be born.
Remaining Greyjoys: 3
Speaking of disputing Houses, House Greyjoy also has some unresolved family disputes of their own. While the awkward rift between siblings Theon and Yara seems still capable of bridging, the rift between them and their uncle Euron obviously isn’t. If fighting to keep Cersei on the Iron Throne doesn’t kill Euron, the siblings would most probably take a stab at him.
Yara was last seen getting dragged around by Euron , who’d killed his own brother to take over the Iron Islands. Assuming she’s still alive, it’s just as likely she won’t be for the entire Season 8. Fortunately, Theon seems to have finally pulled himself together, as we last see him organizing Yara’s rescue.
If Theon succeeds, and the two siblings manage to take back the Iron Islands with Euron journeying to Essos, there might just be hope for House Greyjoy to survive the war against the undead. That is, assuming water can hold off the Night King for long.
Other Great Houses:
Remaining Tyrells: none
Remaining Baratheons: Gendry
Remaining Arryns: Robin
Remaining Tyrells: Edmure
Remaining Martell: Ellaria Sand (de facto, and slowly dying in the dungeons at Red Keep) but officially none.
With over half of the Great Houses gone, and the Night King armed with not only an army of undead, but also a flying, white fire-breathing dragon, the upcoming Season 8 really raises the stakes at an all-time high.
Can the remaining Houses manage to win the Great War to come? Will there be anyone left alive to claim the Iron Throne?
Don’t miss the premiere on April 15, Monday at 9:00AM on HBO. Or stream it live via HBO GO, available on free trial exclusively to SKY.
HBO, Home Box Office and Game Of Thrones are service marks of Home Box Office, Inc. Used with permission. © 2019 HBO Asia. All rights reserved.
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